While photographing the Pride march I had flashbacks to being in secondary school in the 1990s where kids, people I called friends, would throw terms like “Gay” and “Homo” around with no thought at all. You wanted to insult someone? Easy. Call them a gay. I think back on that now and it’s simply horrific. The idea of using what someone uses to empower themselves as a derogatory word to hurt someone else is absurd now. Different times eh.
It’s easy to say that and it’s easy to say we didn’t know better. I still feel ashamed for those times though. When I see people marching through the city with the biggest smiles on their faces, dancing in the streets with their friends and families because it is absolutely damn well OK to be as one kid put it “Gay as fuck” it makes me happy to see that society has changed for the better.
I choose to photograph Pride and to speak to people to produce portraits because I believe its important to spread these messages as far as possible. I have a camera, a blog, social media accounts and a voice. Hey world look at this! Here are people empowered, uplifted, over-joyed by who they are. Who are you to take freedom from oppression, freedom to be happy, freedom to simply be ok with yourself from these people? No matter who you are there’s hope that society can accept everyone and we can have a better world.
I spoke to one group and they said its a shame this is only for the weekend. Monday morning and its business as usual. We slip back into our normal lives and that empowering energy feels gone. Well hopefully these photos can make that feeling last a little bit longer.
Till next year Liverpool.